Coaching Football's "Little Things"

Developing a Consistently Successful Football Program

To Go OR… Not To Go?!

Posted by admin May - 4 - 2021 - Tuesday

Interestingly, within the last few days I have had 2 young head coaches call me seeking advice… about the same subject! It seems that both of them had recently been hired by their respective school as the new head football coach. They were both happy where they were. However… head coaching jobs have just come open in their area of the country! Jobs that they are both interested in applying for. Thus the dilemma! “To go or not to go?” (as Bill Shakespeare would write) “THAT is the question!!!”

Whenever I’m faced with a decision that carries as much import as this would, I do 3 things. First, I pray! Seeking God’s wisdom is important to me. Second, at the same time, I talk to my wife. She is the one with the Gift of wisdom in our household. I want to know what she thinks. I will also talk with others with whom I am close and respect their opinion. This is the “information gathering” phase. Finally, I am going to do a “Priority Check.” I did this with a young man last night on the phone.

He explained how he was torn between applying for this job that holds a lot of potential; but, at the same time, he felt a sense of obligation to the school he was currently at. “What do I do, Coach J? Help!” So we did a priority check! I asked him to state his TOP 3 priorities in life to me. (I might encourage any of you reading to do the same thing right now! And… it should NOT be difficult to come up with those 3. IF… it is a problem to think about what they are, you have bigger issues than just deciding what offense you should run this fall!!!!!!!!) Coach stated: “Family, God and the kids I coach.” Good choices and… good job of prioritizing the right things… in the right order!!!

“So,” I said. “Let’s look at your first/top priority. Which job allows that (top) priority to remain your top priority??? (See, that is the problem. We say that “such and such” is my top priority but… we fail to give it the time and effort that it deserves. You may say that family is most important. How are you showing that?)

He replied, “The XYZ High School is much closer to home. I’d be able to see my family a lot more.” I remained silent; waiting for that to sink in. A few seconds later he said, “Say no more, Coach J. I see clearly now— for the first time in a while. I know what I have to do.” He clarified his values and determined, based on his values/priorities, how he would keep them in order. Later last night, I received an email from the school system offering the vacant head coaching position. It was to write up a recommendation for the young man. He got his priorities straight and knew what was best for him and his family— his TOP priority.

When you need help with a decision, always stop and look at what/who you value in your life. Will you be able to devote the time and effort that the “top priority” deserves? If not, you’re probably wise to choose the alternative that does!

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